Everyone is speculating about Daniel Bryan. The man is a magnet for rumors, and it’s not hard to see why. First, there were rumors of his return. Now there are rumors about his status with the company and whether or not he’s re-signed (the hyphen is important). While it’s hard to know just what Bryan is thinking, it does offer some food for thought. For example, what if he decided to leave?
I admittedly know zilch about the indies, so I won’t talk about Daniel Bryan going there and tearing it up. Instead, this article will attempt to explore how Bryan’s departure could affect the WWE. What would happen?
Right now, AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan, and Jeff Hardy are the top two faces on Smackdown. On the other hand, Samoa Joe, and The Miz reign surpeme on the evil side, and they’re closely followed by the likes of Randy Orton, Andrade Almas, and Shinsuke Nakamura. Meanwhile, the other faces such as Tye Dillinger, Sin Cara, and R-Truth are at the bottom of the totem pole, and Rusev is in this weird state where he’s sort of a face, I guess.
If we remove Bryan from that equation, the scales will shift even further in favor of the forces of evil. Jeff Hardy has supposedly been injured for the past four months or so, so who knows how long he’ll stick around. And even if he does, that’s still not enough.
Assume Daniel Bryan leaves and AJ Styles loses the WWE Championship. What then? Styles can’t stay in the title picture forever. Someone new will have to challenge for the title. So let’s imagine that Styles loses to Samoa Joe at Summerslam and then loses the rematch at the next PPV. Who’s next?
I guess if Jeff Hardy is healthy, he could be the challenger for a month or two, but if he doesn’t win, then that’s that. Daniel Bryan was an easy shoe-in for the title picture, but if he’s not around, things change a whole lot.
Turning the heels would also be tricky. Orton and Nakamura just turned evil, so it would be weird. The Miz is a career heel as well, so he’s a no go. I guess someone will just have to be built up to replace Daniel Bryan.
I’ve mentioned this before when I wrote about Orton supposedly taking time off. Someone new will step up. Sure, they won’t be Daniel Bryan, but it will be someone new and exciting. If you just dedicate time and effort, it’s not that hard to build someone up. Good booking tends to do that.
Maybe Big E finally goes on that singles run that we’re all waiting for. With his New Day brothers by his side, he begins to make a name for himself by taking out the competition and finally challenging for the WWE Championship. Or maybe Kofi Kingston, the longtime veteran, finally gets to achieve his goal of being a top superstar. He turns back the clock and reaches the top of the mountain that he’s never successfully climbed before.
Heck, even Rusev, who fans have been wanting to cheer for a long time, could finally become the big star people want him to be. We’ve seen glimpses of it before. If there is a vacancy at the top of the card, Rusev could absolutely reach for it. That’s just how wrestling is; nothing is ever permanent.
Even someone like Tye Dillinger or Sin Cara could experience a career renaissance of sorts through some good booking. If there is a need for a new top star, WWE will create one.
There would definitely be repercussions if Daniel Bryan left WWE. There is no denying that. Daniel Bryan is one of the company’s top stars. But let’s not assume that it will be the end of Smackdown. Top stars leave all the time, and people are groomed to replace them. That’s how it works. So it would suck for WWE if Daniel Bryan left, but it will not be the end of the world.